Friday, July 21, 2023

Archive Review: Nik Turner's Sphynx (1993)

Nik Turner's Sphynx
In the early 1970s, as part of the legendary and influential British band Hawkwind, Nik Turner often times explored the outer reaches of human consciousness, both musically and lyrically, taking the listener on an aural journey to strange lands that mixed science fiction, fantasy and  magick in creating a truly surreal landscape. Hawkwind’s legacy can be found in many of today’s top experimental artists, from The Orb to Psychick TV. Since those heady days, the enigmatic Turner has expressed himself equally as tantalizingly through bands like Sphynx and Inner City Unit. With Sphynx, the album (no connection to his earlier band), Turner’s first recording in seven years, he continues down a similar path, transporting us musically to an ancient Egypt full of mystery.

With a band that includes a former Hawkwind mate, guitarist Helios Creed, Turner has created a truly amazing musical reality. This seventy-minute sojourn will take you across the desert sands to the Great Pyramid, with proper attention and homage paid to the old gods Anubis, Isis. and Osiris along the way. Through timeless invocations and poetic sacrifice, Turner has made Sphynx a beautiful tapestry of otherworldly psychedelia, hallucinogenic rhythms, synthesized sound and cold chrome guitar riffs. It is an invigorating, mind-expanding journey, a complex and exciting experience that you’ll want to delve into again and again, as the music and your imagination both come alive in a blur of color and reality. (Cleopatra Records, 1983)

Review originally published by R.A.D! Review and Discussion of Rock ‘n’ Roll zine, December 1993

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